Periodic Table of Elements

Element Potassium - K

Comprehensive data on the chemical element Potassium is provided on this page; including scores of properties, element names in many languages, most known nuclides of Potassium. Common chemical compounds are also provided for many elements. In addition technical terms are linked to their definitions and the menu contains links to related articles that are a great aid in one's studies.

Potassium Menu

Overview of Potassium

Potassium's Name in Other Languages

  • Latin: Kalium
  • Czech: Draslík
  • Croatian: Kalij
  • French: Potassium
  • German: Kalium - s
  • Italian: Potassio
  • Norwegian: Kalium
  • Portuguese: Potássio
  • Russian: Калий
  • Spanish: Potasio
  • Swedish: Kalium

Atomic Structure of Potassium

Chemical Properties of Potassium

Physical Properties of Potassium

Regulatory / Health

  • CAS Number
    • 7440-09-7
  • RTECS: TS6465000
  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)
    • No limits set by OSHA
  • OSHA PEL Vacated 1989
    • No limits set by OSHA
  • NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit (REL)
    • No limits set by NIOSH
  • Levels In Humans:
    Note: this data represents naturally occuring levels of elements in the typical human, it DOES NOT represent recommended daily allowances.
    • Blood/mg dm-3: 1620
    • Bone/p.p.m: 2100
    • Liver/p.p.m: 16000
    • Muscle/p.p.m: 16000
    • Daily Dietary Intake: 1400-7400 mg
    • Total Mass In Avg. 70kg human: 140 g

Who / Where / When / How

  • Discoverer: Sir Humphrey Davy
  • Discovery Location: London England
  • Discovery Year: 1807
  • Name Origin:
    From potash (pot ash); K from latin: kalium
  • Abundance of Potassium:
    • Earth's Crust/p.p.m.: 21000
    • Seawater/p.p.m.: N/A
    • Atmosphere/p.p.m.: N/A
    • Sun (Relative to H=1E12): 145000
  • Sources of Potassium:
    Found in minerals like carnallite [(KMgCl3).6H2O], sylvite (KCL) and alunite. Annual world production is around 200 tons. Primary mining areas are in Germany, Spain, Canada, USA and Italy.
  • Uses of Potassium:
    Used as potash in making glass, soap, lenses and salt substitute. Also as saltpeter, potassium nitrate (KNO3) it is used to make explosives and to color fireworks in mauve.
  • Additional Notes:
    Formerly called kalium hence the symbol 'K'.

Potassium Menu


A list of reference sources used to compile the data provided on our periodic table of elements can be found on the main periodic table page.

Related Resources

Citing this page

If you need to cite this page, you can copy this text: